On shuttles

I was reading an article today by the well known weaver and writer, Madelyn van der Hoogt. It was an answer to a question about end feed shuttles. Madelyn gave the pros and cons of using an end feed shuttle but at the bottom of her answer she said that she prefers using a boat shuttle simply because she likes the sound of the bobbin rattling as the yarn pulls off.

This resonated with me because I’ve experienced the exact same thing.  A few years ago I began researching end feed shuttles. Particularly Bluster Bay Woodworks end feed shuttles. The biggest problem that I found at the time was that they only made end feed shuttles in a 15″ size and I was weaving mostly scarves at the time and preferred 11-11.5″ shuttles. Then Bluster Bay began making mini end feed shuttles, 11″ size. I bought one with a gift card and was very excited to test it out! I will admit that I sturggled a bit with the tension hooks and have since decided I may prefer a spring loaded model. I didn’t mind it though. As I threw the shuttle, it pulled evenly and consistently leaving nice selvages. But I really just missed the rattle that you only get from a boat shuttle. Hearing that lovely sound helps me develop my weaving rhythm more quickly and brings back fond memories of the weaving studio in college. I loved the sound of many looms working, each with its own rhythm and pace. Each loom making its own music. Each weaver conducting the piece. Without the sound of the boat shuttle,  part of the music is missing. I’ve been told by several professional weavers that they use only end feed shuttles and that those are the only type of shuttle you really need but I just can’t bring myself to give up my lovely,  well worn LeClerc boat shuttles.



This is the cold that never ends!

Yep. I’m STILL sick. It’s been 6 days of misery. 😦 Last night was the first night that I was cough free all night. But then this morning I’m hacking all over again with a vengeance. It’s not fun at all. I was hoping I’d be up and at ’em by today and back to working on my house. But apparently not. Once I stopped coughing long enough to swallow I took my daytime cough syrup and Tylenol for my throat. I feel a Lord of the Rings marathon coming on today.

I may also try to start a new scarf warp today but I’m not entirely sure what pattern to do next. I have a list of several drafts I wanted to test out. All of them are pretty common but I’ve never woven them. Bronson lace was one of these. There’s also Swedish lace (which looks very similar to Bronson), Canvas, which I actually have woven but not with rayon. I’ve also woven Huck lace before but I may weave up some more scarves using that draft because it’s so fun. I’ve also been meaning to try M’s and O’s and never have. I also like Crackle, Honeycomb, and Overshot but those all have an alternating tabby pick which I don’t want to mess with right now. I’m trying to weave scarves up quickly for show season.

As always, my mom and I will be in the Fall Fun Fest the weekend of Sept. 9(? I think it’s that weekend). I will also have my work at the Mountaineer Festival at Fall Creek Falls (most likely) which is the same weekend but my in-laws will be going to that one. I’ll likely physically be at Fun Fest with my mom in Cookeville because she’ll be alone and the in-laws have multiple people to help at that booth.

I’m not sure if there’s one in between those two and the TACA fair but I will also be at the fall TACA fair in the Chapter booth. I won’t have to be there the whole weekend though which is nice. I just have to work a shift or two. If I end up getting called about having an actual booth for the fair, I won’t be in the chapter booth but I don’t really see that happening. It’s a pretty big show. I should get more business cards printed….hmmm…

I am really hoping Cookeville does the Picasso Doesn’t Live Here show again like last year. What a fun show! It’s specifically for crafts which was wonderful! Last year was the first year they did it and it was a huge success. I hope they do it again this year, like I said before.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be better soon. I am SOOOO tired of coughing constantly. 😦

Waffle weave towel sampler

I am SO glad I decided to do samplers!! If I’m ever participating in a big show like this again, I will remember to weave samplers! Umm…Also I’m beginning to love sampling.

Okay. So today didn’t quite go as smoothly as I wanted it to, but again, that’s why I’m sampling.

I got up and dressed the loom from 8am-11:30am and then took a break til 12:30. Then I began weaving the first towel on the warp. I texted Ben to tell him how wonderfully everything was going and how excited I was…If I believed in jinxes, apparently saying that jinxed it…I was weaving along happiliy when I hear a snap and I look down to discover that the string that holds the apron rod to the apron has broken. Not only that but the apron string breaking caused two warp ends to break so I had to patch the apron rod string and fix two broken ends. When I was finally done fixing everything, I went to tighten my tension and my cloth beam fell off. You should probably know that the cloth beam is designed to do this to make it easier to disassemble but it’s not supposed to happen when you’re tightening tension. I tend to bump it with my knee which causes it to do this. After all that (about 30-45 minutes) I decided I needed to take a break. Oh I also discovered a threading error so I knew I was going to have to cut off the first towel and tie back on in order to fix it.

I did finish the first towel and I’m really glad I cut the first one off and washed and dried it before I started weaving again! It shrunk in length more than I predicted it would so I had to adjust for that when weaving the second towel. Here’s what the first one looks like:

I’m pretty happy with it but I’m not entirely sure it’s worth all the effort. I called Ben to see what he thinks and he said maybe I could make like 10 of them or something and then weave another kind of towel as well. That seems like a pretty good idea to me. So we’ll see what happens. I’m pretty tired! I woke right up when the alarm went off and didn’t doze off again after Ben left for work. With the time change that’s like being wide awake at 5am. And I’ve been going all day long! I am SO looking forward to chilling out a little tonight. I might wind off some warp for other projects but I’m not sure yet. We’ll see. I’m excited about watching another Netflix disk of How I Met Your Mother. 🙂 We’re big fans but we haven’t seen all the back seasons so we’re getting the disks. It’s “Legendary!” haha.

What I’ve been weaving lately

I’ve been weaving pretty much everyday this week. And my back is reminding me of this. Awesome.

Anyway I took a few pictures to show you what I’ve been up to. Next on my loom is a place mat sampler. I think it’s probably going to end up being too narrow, but that’s okay. That’s why it’s a sampler right?! Yes. I’m sampling. I NEVER do that. But I want to this time because I don’t want to put an 8 yard warp of place mats or towels or napkins on my loom and then discover that it’s the wrong size. That would be awful.

Well it’s back to the loom for me. I’ve gotta get that other sampler on the loom so I can move on!!

More wool fabric

I like how these came out. I still need to felt them but I’ve been putting it off lately. I also have 13 headbands woven up. They’re so fun to weave! 🙂 I wound off some more warp for them. Enough for 15 more headbands! Wooo!!

I also wound off warp for a sampler to test out some patterns and see if I can find some that I like for towels, pillows, napkins and place mats. I may just weave the towels in waffle weave and keep things simple.

I’ve been really frustrated with my loom today as well as myself. My loom because the treadle rods keep jumping off while I’m weaving and myself because my back and knee are hurting again. Blah.

I am really excited about the TACA fair but right now it just feels like a ton of work that I really don’t want to do. I guess the grey day is probably influencing me to an extent. Oh well. I’m going to go run and see if that helps improve my mood at all. Endorphins are usually miracle workers.

Planning, planning, planning

I spent most of my morning planning for the Mayfair (apparently the spring TACA fair has more than one name…). I worked on what I want to make, calculations for those projects and how to group them so I can tie on to minimize back pain and time. (Those are in order of importance!)

Then this afternoon I went to a few antique shops to look for clip earrings. Why? Because they make GREAT clasps for clutch bags. (PS: I always picture a girl clutching a bag when I say that word…Just FYI) I found three pairs that I think will work really well aaaand I’m excited.

After antiquing, I came home and wound off warp for clutch bags and headbands! I forgot to take pictures of the clutch bag warp but here’s the headbands:

I’ve got red/black, aqua/black, darker aqua/green and gold/olive. I like the color combos so far. It should be enough warp for like 20 headbands. Here’s what I planned for dimensions: 3.5″ wide and 14″ long. (On the loom) it should shrink to like 3ish”x10-12ish”. I’m using Tencel and silk for the yarn. I think the only one that has silk is the dark aqua/green one; all the others are Tencel. I wanted to prep the headband warps because I am planning on taking my mom’s little Dorset loom out to the farm so I needed several warps to work on for when I’m out there. Don’t worry. I asked permission to borrow the loom. She’s also offered the service of her Schacht Mighty Wolf should I need it. I may have to take her up on that later… We shall see. I’m not feeling particularly overwhelmed right now, but that will probably change again soon.

I emailed Jeanne (my instructor from school, if you don’t know) this morning to ask if she had any advice about pricing or what sort of goods to make. She was very helpful and excited that I got into the fair. (She was the one that called it Mayfair. 🙂 ) I got some good ideas of what kinds of items to make and she mentioned that it’s a good idea to make things that will sell to all age groups. Duh! Why hadn’t I conjugated that thought before? I was probably too busy freaking out…

I think I may try to weave some vests but I’m not sure how that’ll work yet. I’ll have to mess around with the idea for a while first. Just thought I’d try to stay up to date on here!

PS: I found my camera.

I’m always amazed at how a warp can go from looking like this:

To this:

Here’s a few more of stuff I’ve been working on! I’m SO pleased with everything.

Can’t wait to felt this stuff up and attempt to make them into clutch bags.